Fight fans have grown accustomed to pre-fight brawls, scuffles at weigh-ins and even testy behaviour between two rival fighters after the fight, yet yesterday, light-welterweights Zab Judah and Hevinson Herrera took things one step further. Attempting to weigh-in ahead of today’s scheduled ten-rounder in New York – a fight that would have marked former welterweight king Judah’s first fight since December of 2013 – the New Yorker and the Colombian got into a heated exchange before having a chance to step onto the scales.
According to a piece by Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, the two fighters were stood next to each other filling out their medical forms, when the trouble started.
“They were next to each other in line, and Herrera, who doesn’t speak a word of English, apparently said something to Judah,” Greg Cohen told Rafael, Cohen being the promoter who recently signed Judah with the southpaw attempting one more comeback. “And it ended up with Herrera kind of head-butting Zab and then Zab punched him. Although most people think he punched him in the chest, Herrera said he got hit in the head, that his head hurts, so the doctor said he can’t fight.”
According to reports, The New York State Athletic Commission will conduct a disciplinary hearing for both fighters. Judah has been given permission to box tonight, against a (very) late replacement foe if one can be found. Cohen, though, is not at all hopeful.
“But what are the odds that we’ll be able to find somebody who is ready to fight, on weight and is medically cleared by Thursday morning (New York time)?” Cohen said.
So, Judah’s latest ring return, one that would have seen him try to rebound after losing to fellow New Yorker Paulie Malignaggi almost two years ago, will have to wait. How much Judah, 42-9(29) has left to offer is up for question. At age 37, and after all those tough fights, the odds are against Judah becoming a world champion again.
Of course, when it comes to controversy, Judah has seen his share. Who can forget his crazy antics following his being heavily dropped by Kostya Tszyu way back in 2001? Judah, when stopped on his feet (just) by referee Jay Nady, went berserk, throwing a ring stool at Nady and then grabbing the official by the throat. All these years later, and Judah is still getting himself into all kinds of trouble. Even if it seems his would-be opponent started things off yesterday.